bike to the beach
(L to R) Edgar Montenegro, Ken Kortright, Darryl Whiting, Robby Walsh, Ray Thomas, Sania Santos, Yessenia Ventura, James Manicone, Frank Caffey, (Front) Pop.Earth Founder Debbie Stone, and Ruth Albright. (Photo by Ed Shin)

Oct. 2 turned out to be a beautiful day for a ride — Team Pop.Stars joined more than 400 cyclists whose goal was to raise funds and awareness for autism.

Team Captain Ray Thomas challenged the team to increase its mileage from 25 to 50 miles this year and they did not disappoint. Long time Pop.Earth instructor and supporter Darryl Whiting flew from California hours before the ride to participate in this important cause. Boston natives Yessenia Ventura and Sania Santos drove for more than five hours to ride for Pop.Earth for the second year in a row. Other riders and fundraisers included James Manicone, Ruth Albright, Edgar Montenegro, and Frank Caffey.

Event sponsors included longtime supporter Kenny Kortright, owner at Ken Kortright State Farm, Rich and Mike Cave from PinkTie.org, Christopher Savino and family, Chef David Buico of Mercato Cucina in Huntington, Essentia Water, and Grant Havasy of Blue and Gold in Huntington.

Debbie Stone is the founder and executive director of Pop Earth. Stone has previously worked in the stock market for more than 20 years and is also a published children’s book author. Most importantly she is the parent of two boys, one who was diagnosed with autism. She is dedicated to providing support and help to people with special needs. Debbie is the visionary behind the Pop.Earth (Population Earth; We Are One) brand.

In 2005 when her eldest son, Dylan, was diagnosed with autism, she began researching non-invasive ways to help him. She was very dismayed to learn that there weren’t many programs or therapies available for those with autism that focused on health and wellness. She was shocked to learn about the over-21 population that ages out of state run programs.

Eventually, in 2012 she founded Pop.Earth, a state registered nonprofit organization. No one is ever turned away from any program because of an inability to pay. Pop.Earth was the first in the country to offer holistic based services for low cost to free and continues to thrive with programs in New York, Colorado, and New Jersey.

Pop Earth

Bike to the Beach for Autism Awareness. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Bike to the Beach for Autism Awareness. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Bike to the Beach for Autism Awareness. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Bike to the Beach for Autism Awareness. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Bike to the Beach for Autism Awareness. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Simi Brieva, Sofia Marcogliese, and Mo Hussain. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Mary Glynn and Suzanne Reek President of the Nassau Suffolk Chapter of the Autism Society of America. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Ken Kortright and Sania Santo. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Pop.Earth’s BikeTeam The Pop.Stars. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Edgar Montenegro, Sponsor Ken Kortright, and Ray Thomas. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Ray Thomas. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Elisa Berman, Annette Lagan, Suzanne Reek, and Luca Iallonard. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Edgar Montenegro, Suzanne Reek President of the Nassau Suffolk Chapter of the Autism Society of America, and James Manicone. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Dylan Stone, Nan Pollard, and Brandon Stone. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Sania Santos, Ray Thomas, and Yessenia Ventura. (Photo by Ed Shin)
James Manicone (Photo by Ed Shin)

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